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Eagles hiring Doug Pederson might work out, but the coaching search was so flawed

It's hard to feel great about how this went down.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Doug Pederson is (unofficially) Philadelphia's new head coach and, to no surprise, Eagles fans aren't very excited about the hire. Only 43% of fans approve of the team's decision.

In all honesty, fans don't always know best (gasp!). Remember the Jordan Hicks pick in the 2015 NFL Draft? Of course you do, because the rookie linebacker was probably going to be Defensive Rookie of the Year if he stayed healthy. Well, funny enough, Hicks had the lowest approval rating of any Eagles draft pick last year.

The point I'm trying to make here is that sports are largely a crapshoot. Much more often than we'd like to admit, too, because it's no fun admitting we don't know anything. There's a very real chance Pederson is not the guy who takes the Eagles to their first Super Bowl win in franchise history. But maybe he'll prove to be a good hire. Who knows? Whether Pederson works out or not remains to be seen. In the meantime, it's hard not to think about how the Eagles arrived at this point.

It's very concerning how the Eagles got here. The organization ran a very uninspiring head coaching search. The Eagles only interviewed six candidates: Pederson, Eagles running back coach Duce Staley, Eagles interim head coach Pat Shurmur, former Bears offensive coordinator Adam Gase, former Giants offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo, and former Giants head coach Tom Coughlin. That's just not a very impressive list, especially when two of the options are internal candidates and the inexperienced Staley wasn't really in strong consideration. Many will also point out Jeffrey Lurie's line about getting a head start on the coaching search. That explanation never really made a ton of sense because the Eagles weren't able to interview external candidates until the season was over anyway. Still, you would have thought it could have afforded them more time to put together a more impressive list of candidates. There were much more impressive names available the Eagles could have looked at but didn't.

Another concern is how Pederson clearly wasn't Philadelphia's top option. After the team interviewed Pederson in Kansas City on Sunday, the Eagles made a run at McAdoo, who was reportedly their top choice. After that didn't work out, the Eagles met with Coughlin for a second time before the 69-year-old ultimately turned them down. Thanks to their limited coaching search, the Eagles were stuck with three uninspiring options: Pederson, Shurmur, and Staley. The Eagles couldn't afford to reopen the search to more candidates at that point, either, because they'd risk missing out on being able to hire assistants for a new coaching staff.

Now, it's fair to wonder how much it really matters that a team gets their top choice. As I said earlier, coaching hires are a crapshoot. And look at the Eagles' hire of Chip Kelly. That was the guy they really wanted, and they got him. And it worked ... until things went south and he was fired three years later.

Speaking of Kelly, the Pederson hire seems to be an attempt at over-correcting the errors of Kelly's failures. It seems like the Eagles are basically admitting they were wrong to fire Reid. Maybe this strategy makes sense. Maybe the Eagles will be able to replicate the success of the Reid era. Or maybe this is just an example of the Eagles' front office lacking creative vision. Maybe this search was really just about the Eagles getting their "yes man" who won't conflict with Howie Roseman the way Kelly did.

Prior to this Eagles coaching search, I wrote about how it's very troubling how Roseman still remains in power. I still stand by that sentiment, especially seeing how this flawed search went down. The problem is that Roseman can't fire himself. It's ultimately up to Lurie to right the ship. If Lurie can't do that, it's certainly time to question his effectiveness as the team's owner.

Once again, the Pederson hire might work out. For their sake, the Eagles better hope it really does. His success could redeem the failures of this front office. If not, however, it will be time for serious organizational change. And not just one that involves the head coach.

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